German Shorthaired Pointer

Breed History

german shorthaired pointer in the woods

German Shorthaired Pointer, or GSP, is a medium to large dog that is a sensational hunting and gundog. Dual specialization in these areas shows the intelligence and strong prey drive of this breed.

This Gundog is versatile enough to hunt on land and water. Retrieving is something they excel at and have been one of the best at this for decades.

Birds, rabbits, raccoons, deer, boar and other animals are among the many animals this breed can hunt down or retrieve for their owners.

Agility, dock diving, trials, flyball, hunting, search & rescue, therapy and tracking are some of the areas where this dog excels in competition.

Stamina and enough energy to work for long hours they are a key asset to accompany hunters and competitive dog owners alike.

Distinct patterns make them easy to identify from any other breed. Breeders were looking for a fast and strong hunter and did a fantastic job of obtaining both and much more with this dog.

19th century the breed standard came into focus, but they have been around hundreds of years before this time. In the 1930 breeds have recognition with the AKC but were already in the United States long before this time.


Coming from Germany and being around for several centuries this dog is known and has registration all over the most popular Kennel Clubs. Ranking in the top ten in America happens on a reoccurring basis for the German Shorthaired Pointer.

Here are the popular Kennel Clubs that follow their breed standard and track their bloodline.

German Shorthaired Pointer Size

Male Height: 23-25 inches

Female Height: 21-23 inches

Male Weight: 55-70 pounds

Female Weight:45-60 pounds

Men are bigger than the females in this breed with height and weight. You should be able to notice a significant different with a boy versus a girl.

Litter Size

Litter size is 6-8 puppies on average. Double digit litter sizes are less common but do happen rarely. There are no known birth issues with the mother while delivering these puppies.

German Shorthaired Pointer Colors

  • Black
  • Black Roan
  • Black and White
  • Liver (brownish)
  • Liver Roan
  • Liver and White
  • White and Liver

This information is according to their breed standard.


You can expect to pay $1,000-$5,000 with an average price point of $3,000. Papers with the dog will include a long list of documentation of the bloodline and Kennels that the line has come from.

Without papers you can expect to pay much less in money, but the quality goes down with the price. Saving a few dollars may get a puppy that is outside of the breed standards.

Either way make sure you know the breed standard and the dog you purchase including the parents are matching this description. Although this isn’t bulletproof it will help you in avoiding obvious errors.


  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brushing is going to be the most you will need to do with this breed. Reasons are the length of the coat and the small amounts of shedding throughout the year. Multiple times per week will be a good start.

Combing this breed will not need to happen at all. There is no danger of tangles or matting due to the short length.

Bathe the dog as you see fit. Some people choose to do it on schedule and that is just fine. Others look to do it if the dog smells or looks dirty. Either choice is just fine.

Ears can start getting infection if they are never getting cleaned by the owner. Taking the time to clean the ears at least once weekly will help you keep the vet bills lower.

Nails need to be trim in a natural fashion. We recommend exercising the dog to trim the nails on the ground, pavement, or dirt. If you don’t exercise, which we don’t recommend, you will need to cut the nails with clippers.

You don’t need to get professional grooming with this dog. Lower maintenance in comparison to other breeds and you should look to complete the grooming for a price that consists of buying the products for grooming.

Life Span

Lifespan in 12-14 years of age. That is a long time to own a dog and owners should have knowledge of when they are getting into their last years of their life.

Generally, a healthy dog so the owner should get the checkups that they should have on time and continue to monitor their health throughout their life.

Health Issues

Their Kennel Club has a few examinations that they recommend all dog owners should get. Some of these will need to happen once, others annually, and few are every single year. Continue to monitor their health and you will have a healthy dog that will live for a long time.

Cardiac – You must wait until the dog is at least two years old and get this exam done by a cardiologist. Dogs who have heart issues will show signs at this age. Irregular heart beats from murmurs and different issues will be discovered in this exam.

Hip – dogs can have several different issues with their hips. One of the most common will be the bones not fitting properly in the hip socket. Although the problem is inside the bone structure you will notice the dog favoring, no interest in running, and other health problems in relation.

Elbow – growth on the elbow can cause a lot of the problems in this area. Stiffness in the leg area and a slight limp can showcase that the dog is suffering from some type of dysplasia.

Eye – A lot of problems can come from the dog developing eye problems. It is best to get an exam on this annually when the dog is grown and every two years after they turn five. Cataracts, glaucoma, cherry eye and other issues can come at any point in the dog’s life. These matters should be taken seriously because they can possibly cause blindness in the future.

Breed Group

Proud member of the Sporting Group this a great place to put them. They are known as gun dogs, but they are fantastic in other areas like hunting. Because they are not a hound dog and are multi-talented this is the best place to put them.

Sporting group is a group that is full of retrieving dogs that can retrieve game from the water or from land surfaces.

Here are some of the dogs in the group

Exercise Needs

German Shorthaired Pointers needs a lot of exercise for fulfillment. Failure to meet these exercise requirements will result in the dog misbehaving or becoming destructive.

Behaviors can eventually lead to the owner feeling like the dog has lost their minds. You want to give exercise for the mental and physical benefits it offers to your dog.

Exercise requirements will vary depending on the dog regarding of what breed they are. We must look at other characteristics first.

Here are the recommendations for a dog that will need a lot of exercise

Two sessions

Morning: One Hour (run, walk, or treadmill)

Evening: 30 minutes (run, walk, or treadmill)

Behavior will determine which of these methods you will use. When the dog is misbehaving, barking, digging, or being destructive you may want to run them twice a day until you get this behavior under control.

When behavior is much better you want to use more walks and some treadmill. Dogs will need to get a run so make sure you make enough time every week to get them some serious running.

Young dogs need the most exercise and will start to develop those behaviors you are looking to avoid. Running them more will help with keeping them in the right state of mind and physically more tired.

Older dogs that never get any exercise will become aggressive biting or showing a strong surge of energy that they shouldn’t have. At this age runs will still be a big part of the program. Using them strategically is the key.

Senior dogs don’t need much more than a walk around the block, but this all depends of their behavior. When they don’t behave well increase until you see a difference in decisions and when they’re wore out scale back and let them recover.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Exercising the dog is the most time-consuming activity and dog owners should be aware of this. More time spent in this area the better the dog will behave in the long run. Neglecting this area of training can have dire consequences in the end. Examine behavior and determine when to increase or decrease workload is the best advice, I can give to any dog owner.

Commands are a small part of your time and you won’t spend much of your time here. Using repetition will enhance the chances of your dog complying every time. Having your dog sit before meals, water, socialization, putting on the leash and other areas will help you with increasing the repetition and using life rewards to train your dog.

Socialization should be an activity you focus on after you have got the dog calm and continue to see improvements in the attitude and control you have. Taking your dog to the park after a long and laborious week will show you a dog that is relaxed and using their nose to meet other dogs.

Corrections are a part of any real training program. You can correct by voice, hand, or leash using the right methods. Strength isn’t a requirement the timing and sit or lay after the correct are the most important actions you can take. If you use excessive force but don’t have the fundamentals down, then you will never accomplish your mission.

Is a German Shorthaired Pointer a Good Family Dog?

Yes, they’re an excellent family dog but are in need of an owner that is going to be good at their job. Getting them the proper exercise, training, and socialization is not a hard task to accomplish with the intelligence and willingness to please the owner.

Additional Resources